Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo says his team can now look forward to its home grand prix at Monza next week full of confidence after securing the services of Giancarlo Fisichella.
Fresh from its first victory of the season in Belgium, Ferrari has been boosted by the arrival of Fisichella – who will be Kimi Raikkonen's teammate until the end of the season.
Di Montezemolo says the Italian was hired because of his talent and his nationality – ahead of what will be an emotional race in home ground for both the team and the former Force India driver.
"I chose Fisichella for several reasons, starting with the fact he deserves it, that he's on great form and that he is an expert driver," di Montezemolo said in a television interview with TG1. "On top of that, we all wanted to have an Italian driver in our car for Monza and lastly, because it takes the long term view, as he will be our third driver [in 2010].
"It is an important moment, coming off the back of a great win with Kimi Raikkonen. We also have the good and important news that Felipe Massa is recovering well and will be more than ready for the first race of next season.
"I wish to thank Luca Badoer who, once again has been so amenable towards Ferrari. Therefore, I look forward to Monza with confidence and especially with great pleasure at having Fisichella in the team."
Di Montezemolo said he was also looking forward to the return at the start of next season of the injured Massa – who was told this week that he would be unable to race again in 2009.
"The good news that Felipe will race again, that he is recovering and that he will be very ready to race next season is a further plus, after what was a terrible August for us," he said.
"What with his accident, all the uncertainties and, unfortunately, Michael Schumacher's fitness difficulties, when we would have liked to see him in our car. However, bit by bit, we are putting everything right again. Victory is the best medicine."